by Rupert Myers
All this means that the grammar school system exacerbates existing disadvantages. It’s like throwing life preservers 100m away from a group of swimmers – the fastest ones will grab them long before the weaker swimmers can. Poor children, who already face huge obstacles to academic success, are pushed further down by a system that focuses greater attainment on the disproportionately well off. This institutionalisation of disadvantage does not promote a state education system which provides equality of opportunity. Unlike public schools, in which parents can spend money while saving the state the cost of a place at a state school, grammar schools become a tool by which the state itself works to add a layer of advantage to existing advantage.
If May throws away caution on this issue, she will hand Labour an huge opportunity for electoral recovery.